Lack of Implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in Albania: An Urgent Issue to Tackle
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Department of Healthcare, Faculty of Public Health, University of Vlora, Vlora, Albania.
Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, Medical School, University of Crete, Greece
Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College, London, UK.
Institute of Public Health, American College of Greece, Athens, Greece.
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Corresponding author
Enkeleint Aggelos Mechili   

Department of Healthcare, Faculty of Public Health, University of Vlora, Vlora, Albania.
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A73
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality worldwide and one of the main public health issues in the Albanian population, as more than 23% (41% male and 5.6% female) are daily smokers. Despite the fact that Albania ratified the WHO FCTC in 2006, it has not been fully implemented. This study sought to investigate tobacco use among university student and the level of enforcement of tobacco products advertising and promotion ban.

Material and Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted (May-July 2017) among students of University of Vlora, Albania. Students who agreed to participate in the study, completed part of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). Students from all Faculties and all semesters were randomly selected before each course. Statistical analyses were conducted with SAS 9.1.

In total 1360 students participated (73% female) with 18% (n=234) of them being daily smokers and 39% (n=519) being second-hand smokers. At the same time, only 11.06% of the participants reported that none of their family/friends/environment smoke. 11% of the participants reported being offered free cigarette samples the last 30 days, 7% noticed tobacco products promotion via mail and 17% via clothing or other items with a cigarette brand name or logo. 16% reported cigarette discounts at points of sale and 15% were offered free samples. Finally, 37% (n=345) stated that advertisements and/or signs promoting cigarettes were present in stores.

Results indicated that the need for monitoring the implementation of tobacco control laws is of paramount significance. It is a call for action for policymakers, stakeholders, civil society organizations and healthcare professionals in Albania to collaborate and monitor the enforcement of practical and sustainable interventions for this convention.

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